A staff On Probation, Employments With Statutory Flavor

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    Olajire Deborah

    A staff On Probation, Employments With Statutory Flavor

    A staff on probation is an employee employed for a particular post but who will be on trial for a period of time, during which he will be studied as to his skills, competence and dedication.

    It is supposed to be a permanent employment that will depend on satisfactory conduct within the period of probation.

    Probationary employment cut across the private, public and civil service, with each having its set of rules for dealing with staff on probation.

    We shall discuss more on the rights of probationary staff in Chapter 3 hereunder.

    Employment With Statutory Flavors

    These are employees of bodies or agencies created under the law. For instance, we have NAFDAC, NDLEA, EFCC, etc., which have specific laws creating them. As such, the employment of their staff, their training, discipline and termination of their employment is regulated by the law creating those bodies.
    The general rule is that where a statute regulates the appointment and dismissal of a servant, then that employment is said to enjoy statutory flavor and it invests in the employee a higher status than the ordinary one of master and servant. Such a body/agency cannot act outside the law creating it or beyond the powers conferred on it. The staff are said to enjoy employment with statutory flavors, because the law creating such a body vests in its staff a legal status which makes their relationships with their employers one with statutory flavor, over and above the ordinary master/servant relationship.

    Therefore, where the law creating those bodies stipulates a procedure to be followed before any of their staff could be deprived of their rights, such procedures must be followed to the letter. Where this is not followed, it becomes a breach of the duty imposed upon such a body under the law. Any decision taken outside this procedure becomes invalid.

    Employees Of Government-Funded Companies.

    There are times when the Federal or State Government establishes companies whose primary duty is to engage in business or commercial ventures. Examples of such companies include Nigerian Railway Corporation, Nigerian Telecommunications Ltd, etc. In most instances, the government may fully or partially fund the creation of these companies, which are then registered under the law.

    But the mere fact that the government funds such companies does not make them government agencies, neither did the fact that government participated in the affairs of a private company convert it to a public corporation.

    This is because such companies are registered under the law as limited liability companies. And under the law, any company registered as a limited liability company has a life of its own, different from the founder or promoters. It can sue and be sued in its corporate name; it can acquire properties in its name and engage staff to work for it. Note that these companies here are different from corporations created by laws, in that these companies are registered under the general company registration laws while the corporations are created by specific laws.

    The law here, therefore, is that the staff of such companies fully/partially owned by government, or in which the government has controlling shares, are not public servants, neither are they staff in employment with statutory flavor.

    Points To Note:

    There are different categories of employees – civil/public servants, private employees, contract staff, staff on probation, employee with statutory flavour.

    A civil servant is different from a public servant under constitutional definitions.
    Employments with statutory flavor are regulated by the law creating that body and both employer and employee cannot go beyond the stipulations in that law.
    Employees of government-funded limited liability companies are not public/civil servants.

    Private employments are regulated by the contract of service between the master and the servant.

    Contract staffs are employed for a specific period of time and purpose, and their rights are greatly limited by the contract of service.
    Please note what the contract of service contains.

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